West Penn won’t reduce Route 895 speed limit
The speed limit on Route 895 in West Penn Township will not be reduced following a traffic study conducted by the state Department of Transportation.
However, a request to eliminate the passing zone between Dorset Road and Route 309 has been approved, board Chairman Tony Prudenti announced at Monday morning’s board of supervisors meeting.
The township had put in a request for a traffic study for a speed limit reduction for the entire length of 895 within the township, and the elimination of the passing zone between Dorset Road and Route 309.
According to a letter from PennDOT, the department conducted radar studies, checking free flowing vehicles to determine what is known as the 85th percentile speed, which is the speed at or below which 85th percent of the motorists are driving under normal roadway conditions during the daylight hours.
“Our study indicated that the average 85th percentile speed on this roadway is compatible with the current 55 mph speed limit,” the letter said.
The letter also states that PennDOT “carefully reviewed the crash history for the most recent five-year period.”
This study did not reveal a pattern of crashes that could be attributed to an excessive speed limit. There is no one factor or combination of factors that warrants the lowering of the existing 55 mph speed limit on Route 895.”
Meanwhile, the township’s request to eliminate the passing zone between Dorset Road and Route 309 was approved, and the area is now a no passing zone, Prudenti said.
Supervisors announced in April that a traffic study must be conducted in order for the speed limit to be reduced along 895.
At that time, board members said they received a response from PennDOT that the township will have to conduct a traffic study for 895 and Summer Valley Road.
That came after resident Nicole Bailey — who lives along 895 — asked supervisors in March to have the speed limit reduced along that portion.
Per PennDOT’s response, the township had to tell them what speed they would like to see it reduced to.
Township secretary Katie Orlick said that she requested 45 mph and a no-passing zone from Route 309 to Dorset Road.
Resident Gary Steigerwalt told supervisors in April that he’d also like to see the speed reduced on 895.